Blog This!

Perhaps the best advice on blogging I’ve ever seen…


Go to the source: Blog This! Sometimes Going Back to Basics Leads to the Best Posts : @ProBlogger

Darren Rowse writes:

Many business owners I speak to who aren’t bloggers scoff at the idea of having a blog. They look at their business and wonder who on earth would want to read about it.

But whether you’re a mechanic, baker, home cleaner, or a landscape designer, you can be sure that a blog could benefit your customers if you do it right.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at Dominick Del Santo’s story from earlier this year. His business—industrial dust collection solutions—isn’t what you’d call glamorous. Yet he tackled the job and owned his niche. Ryan Chritchett’s doing the same with his tech repair company blog.

You could do the same with a business blog in your industry.” Full story at:  6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Blog : @ProBlogger.

To Darren’s perspective I would also add this; many companies are already blogging to an audience of one at a time — they just call it emailing! Many emails could be the genesis of a blog post with a little tweaking. Instead of reaching an audience of one with their content, companies could exposé their ideas to billions via Google search. A blog can also serve as a homebase that drives other social media tools through auto or manual posting thereby simplifying participation in the social media process as well. Contrary to the opinion that blogging is just one more time suck, it can actually make a company’s marketing efforts even more efficient. Questions? Feedback?

107421-634.jpg…if I won a blogging trip to Australia? What? A blogging trip? Yes! A few weeks ago, I read a post on Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger blog. He shared…

A year ago I was in Queensland for a conference and, sitting at the airport, I had the crazy idea that we should run a ProBlogger Down Under competition. The idea was simple—we run a competition to bring a group of bloggers to Australia to see the Great Barrier Reef and also do a little blogging training. I tweeted the idea and was inundated by people wanting to enter. I also received tweets from some tourism organisations.

To cut a long story short, today I’m ecstatic to announce a competition to bring ten highly creative bloggers from all corners of the globe to Queensland to become Queensland Blogger Correspondents. Lucky winners will not only experience the destination first hand, they will get to blog about it plus become a guest blogger for Tourism Queensland’s own blog later this year.

Source: Win 1 of 10 Trips to The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland Australia #QldBlog : @ProBlogger

Sounds great, I said what do I have to do to win? Darren said…

For your chance to win a spot on this exciting trip we want you to tell us why you would make the ideal Queensland Blogger Correspondent.We will choose ten winners based on how you would cover the experience. How you would get the word out about what you’re doing. What kind of exposure you could bring to the destination. What creative methods you would use to share your story.

via Win 1 of 10 Trips to The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland Australia #QldBlog : @ProBlogger.

The form they gave me doesn’t give me near enough space to tell the story so I thought why not post about it and show by example a little of what I’d actually do?! When I told my wife about the possibility, it was the first time she actually got excited about my blogging – that is until she found out it was not a trip for two!

I’m a guy from a town of 3,500 in rural Wisconsin – I have never been to Australia and as a father of six a trip like this would likely be my only hope! My impressions of Australia – like many Americans of my generation – come from movies like these:

I have been blessed in the past, however, to make 7 international trips to 15 countries – one of them was as a social media correspondent for AGCO covering the 2009 Agritechnica trade show in Hannover, Germany. The Agritechnica content is not available on their site, but while traveling as a social media ‘journalist’, I shot and posted videos like this…

In Hannover, I interviewed company representatives and show attendees using business blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to extend the trade show experience to people around the globe using what became my ‘e1evation workflow’ – a toolkit with a repeatable process of finding and sharing great content to drive traffic. The work our team did won the first NAMA award in the social media category…

The work we did at Agritechnica seems pretty ‘run of the mill’ today, but it was quite ground breaking back then. We mastered the logistics of international social media ‘trip coverage’ and set a new standard. As I did in Hannover, I would use each and every tool in my workflow to ferret out stories and capture and produce great content that would drive interest in the trip. I would also benefit from the opportunity to work directly with Darren Rowse — a person whose blogging has directly and indirectly given me many insights over the course of my blogging career. If you doubt just search this blog…

'e1evation workflow'

I think my ignorance of Australia would actually be an asset in this case – I would use it to fuel my curiosity and share what I learn. As a management consultant, I have lots of experience getting up to speed quickly on a subject matter and I’d take on Australia in the same way I did agriculture for AGCO. Among other things I’d…

  • Study for weeks in advance to get a good background on the places I’d be visiting
  • Take pictures and video at every step along the way that would be posted on a timely basis to Flickr and a YouTube channel [rural Wisconsin blogger from the shores of Lake Michigan goes to Great Barrier reef would be an interesting juxtaposition]
  • Share my thoughts via audio and text for my blog daily [which I know from experience is NOT an easy task!]
  • I’d learn from Darren Rowse in the special sessions to be an even better blogger [and photographer] and put my new skills to immediate use…

The end result would be some great content for Tourism Queensland targeted at Americans like me that would drive traffic and interest for years to come. The skills I would gain would benefit my business and my customers as well. I may not be the first choice for a trip like this, but I think I could be the 10th…

Please comment below for the folks at Tourism Queensland and ProBlogger if you think I’d do a good job of getting them the coverage and content they want! Thanks in advance…

Logo of Blosxom (new Version)
Image via Wikipedia

Happy Monday! Time to talk about trends in blogging and content marketing. First, though, a confession. I accidentally used decaf instead of regular and I’ve been dragging my butt around all day. This blog is fueled by coffee and now that I’ve had a good cup, life can start [at 3:27PM]!

Here’s my bias; blogging is a fundamental component of a successful content marketing campaign. I haven’t bought into the ‘siteless web’ model yet — I believe that a blog is the foundation of a successful online presence and I use a ‘homebase and outpost’ or ‘hub and spoke’ model for content marketing that I first heard articulated by Chris Brogan and Darren Rowse a few years ago.

There are three reasons that strike me as being important at the moment:

  • You own your blog — you don’t own Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter
  • They are inexpensive and easy to update
  • According to HubSpot, active business blogs get 7x more traffic than static websites

These all sound like great reasons to me! If you need someone who is smart and beautiful, however, to tell you the same thing in more detail I highly recommend content marketing genius Heidi Cohen. Heidi had an epic post last week called Blogging Is Dead – Long Live The Blog!. In it she said…

“Call me a contrarian but blogs should be a core aspect of any organization’s marketing strategy regardless of whether you’re a B2C, B2B, not-for-profit or a solopreneur.” Source: Blogging Is Dead – Long Live The Blog! [Research] | Heidi Cohen

I soooo recommend you go to the source and read her article in toto. People usually turn to me after reading an article like this and saying to themselves “Makes perfect sense. Where do I get started?” You see, I’m not a content marketing expert like Heidi — I just tell people how to implement what she advocates. I can help you create a successful blog that is the focal point of your content marketing campaign…

Here are some great articles I read this past week about blogging and content marketin trends:

Enhanced by Zemanta
Open Share Icon
Image by Si1very via Flickr

Here’s my new, favorite Firefox plugin…

“Shareaholic makes it easy for you to submit the web page you’re on to your favorite sharing or bookmarking service, including: digg,, facebook, friendfeed, google bookmarks, google reader notes, kaboodle, magnolia, mixx, myspace, pownce, reddit, stumbleupon, tumblr, twitter, and ycombinator. You can also e-mail the web page directly to a friend.” Shareaholic – The browser add-on extension to share, bookmark and e-mail web pages quickly

If you’re a blogger, one of the most important things you can do is to get your content out into the social media stream is to share, share, share. Shareaholic is the fastest, easiest way I’ve seen to do that so far…

6/29/2011 My old friend the ‘Blog Post Promoter’ tells me via this post that I’ve been officially loving Shareaholic for over three years now. Although I have moved from Firefox to Chrome as my primary browser, Chrome remains the one extension or add-on that I could not live without. While I’m not a Chris Brogan or Darren Rowse, when an internet mechanic like me says this extension rocks, I’d suggest you find out why…


Darren Rowse - Photography Blogger Extrodinaire
Image by kk+ via Flickr
Having trouble posting? Listen to Darren Rowse…

We all have a message drummed into us throughout life: people make snap judgements on you based upon the first impression you give. In many instances, those judgements are lasting ones.*

The same is true for your blog posts. Your opening line really does matter—readers will make a snap decision about whether to read your post by how you open that post, both in the headline or title and the opening line.

It’s no wonder that so many of us feel pressure to get our first lines right.

*It’s worth noting that you can bounce back from a poor first impression. For example, the first thing my wife ever said to me was, “Hi Michael, it’s nice to meet you.” Not a great opening … but I married her within a year!

Want to get better at creating great posts? You can follow the ‘via’ link above get the rest of Darren Rowse’s perspective…

Wordpress logo
Image by herzogbr via Flickr

With job satisfaction rates at record lows and more and more people looking to enjoy a higher quality of life, millions of people are desperately trying to leave their miserable jobs and are flocking to the world of blogging and Internet marketing.If you’re already a blogger, chances are you’ve heard of Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, and Leo Babauta. These names are synonymous with blogging success and the dream of living the “Internet lifestyle”.

On the surface, blogging as a business seems like a dream job. You get to set your own hours, work from anywhere with little more than a laptop, connect with fascinating people from all over the world, and potentially have an impact on the entire world.

Now THAT’S a job!

The Truth

Don’t get me wrong, blogging does offer all these things and more and beats the hell out of sitting in a cubicle working for the man every day of the week.

Given how many people are drawn to this lifestyle, the competition to stand out and become noticed is enormous. Millions of blogs are started each day and cover every conceivable topic imaginable.

What often begins as the thought of a life working on your iPad while sitting on a sandy beach, slowly transforms into the harsh reality of what goes into building a successful and profitable business from your blog.

Before you embark on a journey to quit your job and become the next pro blogger, you need to fully understand what goes into creating a sustainable business.

This article, while primarily written for those who can to build a sustainable business on blogging has some ‘truths’ that you need to consider. You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source if you want to drill down on the 10 hard truths. Business blogging to promote your existing business is an altogether different topic — comment below or ‘connect’ above so we can talk about how this applies to your business…

Cover of "ProBlogger: Secrets for Bloggin...
Cover via Amazon

…Darren Rowse of ProBlogger has some suggestions for getting back into blogging after a vacation…

“Yesterday was my first day back at blogging after a 10 day vacation with my family and on Twitter I commented that I was finding it a little hard to get my brain back into blogging mode. @Mikeachim responded by suggesting I write a post on the daily rituals that I use to get my mind into gear. 

I thought I’d take his suggestion and jot down a few notes – both as a way of getting my head back into blogging but also because looking at the tweets I received this morning it’s a problem many bloggers face.” Source: 13 Ways I Get Back into Blogging after a Vacation

While technically I wasn’t on vacation in Europe [I was managing the ACGO online community from Agritechnica] I was so busy coordinating social media for my client that it probably LOOKED like I was on vacation based on the number of posts to the site…

Lesson learned? Tending a blog is like tending a farm or raising animals — it requires constant care and feeding! I was in Europe 11 days starting on the 6th — even though I posted a couple of times and my blog automatically recycles old posts using ‘Old Post Promoter’ my traffic suffered a pretty good hit…

That’s why I say blogging is not something that you do, it’s something you are. It’s more of a lifestyle than anything else and requires a little bit of attention every day…

There’s a blogging faceoff going on over at Mashable [you can participate here]. When I voted, these were the results…

33% of the top blogs in the world use WordPress and so do I!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger has been reading my mail. Or attending my seminars. Or both. Seriously, he does a great job in this video of explaining some of the tactics that I use to drive traffic to my blog…

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Darren Rowse - Photography Blogger Extrodinaire
Image by kk+ via Flickr

Whenever I present on the topic of ‘practical, tactical social media’ organizational leaders usually like what they hear about social media and how to implement it to build their brands online until they hear that in order to achieve maximum results, they’ll have to post a thought every day for at least three months. The response is usually IMNOTAWRITER. If you’re one of those people, read on…

“Have you ever accidentally slammed your hand in a car door? OUCH!

I think that very unpleasant feeling can be compared to how some small business owners feel about blogging. Until very recently, I would never have published anything on the Internet because I have never considered myself a writer.

Well, that all changed when I purchased my small business and suddenly I was forced to start producing content so that I could try to rank in Google, educate customers, and develop my backstory.

However, even though I started producing content, I still suffered from the inferiority complex that can only be associated with IMNOTAWRITER syndrome.

This syndrome, I’ve found, can be deadly to your small business blogging and it can cause countless hours of wasted time and frustration.

Plus, telling yourself, IMNOTAWRITER, is a very easy and convenient excuse not to blog, isn’t it?” Source: How to Blog When You’re Not a Writer

You can go to the source if you want to read more, but what amazes me is the number of organization leaders that have time to write the same emails over and over, but don’t understand how much more efficient they could be and how many more people they could attract by posting the same email content on a blog and then sending the link to the post to their correspondents! Not only would it save them time, but also drive traffic to their sites. Fine, they say, but they don’t want to learn new technology to update their sites. For those people in particular, I allow all the sites I create to be updated via email — a skill which even the most technophobic organizational leader has mastered at this point. Now what’s your excuse? Please comment!

“What the hell am I supposed to write about?”

a tulip arrangement
Image via Wikipedia

I’m a huge fan of blogging for small businesses — after all, it has worked so well for me! This question invariably comes up sooner or later…

“What the hell am I supposed to write about, I own a {insert your small business here}?

Really, who cares about your flower shop, bike shop, auto parts store, or coffee house?

Answer: Your customers certainly care.

We all know by now that consistent small business blogging can drastically improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and overall web presence. Additionally, a small business blog can increase your opportunities to interact with (and highlight) your customers and provide an additional occasion for you to share your expert knowledge.

Unfortunately, nothing stops a would be small business blogger faster than a perceived lack of time, and the frustration that comes with a lack of ideas to blog about.” Source: 9 Tips for Creating More Small Business Blogging Ideas

You’ll have to go to the source for Darren Rowse’s 9 ways. Questions? Feedback? Comment, call or contact me to discuss how this applies to your business…Technorati Tags: ,

Taking your expertise for granted

Logo of Posterous
Image via Wikipedia

This post from Darren Rowse has me thinking about myself and the people in my trusted network…

“I recently was chatting with a new blogger and they made the comment that after 3 weeks of blogging that they’d run out of things to write about. They had written 10 posts so far but felt that they’d nothing else to share of value on the topic.

What surprised me about their comments was that the blogger was actually a seasoned pro in their niche. They were new to blogging about their topic but they’d been working in their industry for 25 years and were seen as an expert in their field…. yet they didn’t feel like they had anything to say about the topic!

I dug a little deeper and it turned out that the reason for their issue was not that they didn’t have much to write about – but that they were taking for granted the level of knowledge that they actually had. Much of what they’d learned over the years was now so basic to them that they didn’t realise how valuable it was for someone at a lower level of expertise.” Source: What Are You Taking For Granted That Might Be Useful to Others?

Are you one of those that doesn’t appreciate the fact that she’s an expert? Well — you’re wrong! You don’t get to this point in life without having gained expertise at something. Your expertise might only be interesting to 100 people on the planet, but by blogging, you’ll find them. Or more likely they’ll find you…

Having taught classes before on ‘finding your gift’, the one thing I’ve learned is that the more you exercise your ‘gift’, the more it feels like breathing. In other words, it becomes so natural that it’s just a part of you. And who would be interested in little old you?

Well? Your wrong. You’re an expert and your point of view is interesting to other people who aren’t as far along their path. Or who are. Or who are ahead of you. Here’s a dirty little secret; there are no experts. The body of knowledge is expanding so fast that no one can master it all. Your point of view is a valuable part of the puzzle but no one will ever know it unless you make your point of view public; searchable, findable and knowable!

How do you get started? I’ve researched all the tools and I haven’t found anything easier or more powerful than Posterous and the Posterous bookmarklet. Your expertise can turn you into a thought leader if you’ll only publish and promote your work! Comment, call or contact me to discuss how this applies to your business if I didn’t make myself clear…

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Das social media manifesto 2/22/2010

Image representing Loic Le Meur as depicted in...
Image by Joi Ito via CrunchBase

Let’s start with some good stuff from Loic LeMeur, founder of Seesmic and social media expert…

“Tomorrow I am giving a talk at Stanford University with Robert Scoble and MC Hammer on how social software changes marketing so I thought like sharing a few points here and had to chose a title inspired from Scoble’s Corporate Weblog Manifesto in 2003, just for fun. The talk should be online on YouTube next week watch this space or my Twitter I will post it. I also have a simpler version in French. ” Source: Loic Le Meur Blog: The Corporate Social Networking Manifesto

Next? Some worthwhile thoughts on improving the Facebook experience…

“The sheer number of friends I have, in the real world and on the internet, who use Facebook ultimately led me to capitulate and start using it a little. I’m not a huge fan by any means, but I will admit that I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to.” Source: How to Vastly Improve Your Facebook Experience with Filters and Lists | Newsome.Org

Next, how Twitter can save your life…

“It’s safe to say that the majority of the world thinks Twitter is a waste of time. Yes, Twitter is a darling of the New York Times and frequents front pages of mainstream media. But Twitter gets coverage not because the intelligentsia loves Twitter, but because the intelligentsia hates feeling like it’s falling behind.

This post is for all the people who think Twitter is stupid but wish they didn’t.” Source: Twitter can save your life | Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist

Here’s a Darren Rowse video on how bloggers should use twitter…

“In this video I interview Darren Rowse, founder of the popular blogs and Twitip (a blog dedicated to Twitter).

Darren also authored the best selling book Problogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income.

In this video Darren shares why Problogger took off and his great tips on how bloggers should use Twitter.” Source: How Bloggers Should Use Twitter (a Darren Rowse Interview) | Social Media Examiner

Follow the source link for the video. Finally, a list of blogging resources to follow

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tactic #9: Leverage the ‘homebases and outposts’ strategy

It has been awhile since I wrote about tactic #8; using branded mail…

Today I’m going to talk about the third pillar of the e1evation system; promoting your online brand and reputation through the leveraging of homebases and outposts. Pillars 1 and 2 are ‘finding your passion’ and ‘publishing’. Once you’re publishing and you’ve found your voice, it’s time to promote your content through the use of social media outposts. Chris Brogan starts us off here…

“Social networks are great places to meet new people, to build new business relationships, and to learn about information from non-traditional sources. But another great way to use social networking sites is as an outpost. What do I mean by this? It turns out that people getting to know you on social networks might also find your content for the first time, and/or something you post to those networks might bring you an opportunity that wouldn’t immediately come to you in other ways. ” Source: Using Outposts in Your Media Strategy

I first noticed the power of leveraging social media outposts during my ‘reign’ as one of the top political bloggers in Wisconsin. I noticed during that time that if I would cross-post to Facebook or some other social media tool, that the post would get more traffic. Although this idea seemed original to me, I found that other great minds like Chris Brogan and Darren Rowse were already heading down this path… Continue reading “Tactic #9: Leverage the ‘homebases and outposts’ strategy”

“If I started today”…

Connecting (Chris Brogan)
Image by petermello via Flickr

…is an insanely great post by Chris Brogan on the topic of where I would start today if I wanted to use the internet and social media to promote my thought leadership position — NOW I understand why people like Darren Rowse of ProBlogger rave about him!

I came across it looking for the killer article for a prospective client that I really want to land and I couldn’t have picked a better one to help him make the right decision…

“Okay, so you’ve heard from someone that this social media and social networking stuff is great and you should get involved, and it’s really going to help you out. Maybe it will help you in the economic downturn. Maybe you have heard how you can use Twitter for business. But there’s a lot to it all.

Where would you start? What would come first? How might you think about getting out there and joining in on the experience?” Source: If I Started Today

You’ll have to go to the source to get the answers but it’s well worth the trip — and let’s hope that client ‘gets it’ whatever it is… ;-)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Start a Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: